What are YOUR memories of Arsene Wenger at Arsenal?

Gooner Fanzine editor Layth Yousif shares a few of his memories of Arsene Wenger at Arsenal

What are YOUR memories of Arsene Wenger at Arsenal?

@laythy29's picture of Arsene Wenger was taken from the Huddersfield press box moments before the final whistle at his final game in charge on Sunday, May 13, 2018.

As today is the anniversary of Arsene Wenger being appointed Arsenal boss in 1996 what are YOUR favorite memories of the Frenchman?
 
Here's Gooner Fanzine editor Layth Yousif as he recalls some of his favourite memories...
 
Having watched approx 90 per cent of the 1235 games Arsene Wenger took charge at Arsenal, as a supporter and as a journalist I'd simply like to say thanks for the memories.
 
My favourite Arsene memories as a journalist covering the club were of listening to him during London Colney pressers speaking on subjects as diverse as economics of football, diet, freedom of movement, African politics, discussing youth players in forensic detail - but especially his wry and knowing smile every time we beat Spurs.
 
My favourite Arsenal game under Arsene?
 
Too many. Where do you start? Everton, Highbury, May 98, Newcastle, Wembley, 98, Liverpool, 4-2, Highbury, 2004, Real Madrid, Bernabeu, 2006.
 
The 5-3 vs Middlesbrough in August 2004, the 7-0 vs Everton at Highbury in 2005, the 4-2 vs Wigan on the last-ever day at Highbury - I'm sure you've all got your favourite personal memories.
 
For me though, I would have to say being at White Hart Lane on April 25, 2004, to see the soon-to-be Invincibles win the Premier League has to be No1.
 
Most disappointing games I've seen under Wenger?
 
Villa Park, 1999, FA Cup semi-final replay vs United. Copenhagen vs Galatasary in 2000. Barcelona, Champions League final in Paris, 2006. Bradford, the three 5-1s vs Bayern Munich. 6-1, 8-2 vs United. 5-1 vs Spurs, Chelsea in Cardiff in 2007.
 
We'd love to hear your favourite personal memories of Wenger - email us at goonerfanzineeditor@gmail.com and we'll publish the best ones. 
 
PS I took the picture that accompanies this piece from the Huddersfield press box moments before the final whistle at his final game in charge on Sunday, May 13, 2018.
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11
comments

  1. markymark

    Oct 02, 2020, 23:22 #117152

    I never forgave him for not resigning after the 8-2 . An honest man without deep power control insecurities would have resigned or at least agreed a handover at end of season. The bottle job behaviour at Stoke also was a humiliation. A section of the Arsenal supporter block went purist much like ardent Corbynista’s. The Corbyn lovers get more angry the more popular Starmer becomes much as the Wenger lovers Become more and more angry as we rack up gone to penalty victories over the 2nd best club in World Football. Wenger should have thrown in the towel around 2008. He’ll probably realise it now as it’s ruined his legacy . Not even a collapsing Barca reached out to him

  2. itsRonagain2

    Oct 02, 2020, 11:45 #117150

    SKG - Yes, that 2000 performance was poor. Its rarely mentioned but the arrogance in Wengers teams started about then. It was a combo of arrogance, frailty and flakeyness that pervaded every team he built inc the invincibles. In my view, those facets of his teams especially in the period 2000 - 2004 stopped the Club really reaching the heights they might have done both domestically and in Europe. The skill sets of many of the players in the teams couldn't over ride the negative facets of his teams. These attributes reflected his persona no doubt as all teams reflect their coaches i think I think any other top manager at the time would have achieved far more with the same players. We are never to know though are we. That period of 6 months after game 49 was sickening. The sulkers sulked. Wenger sulked, Henry and others pouted and the club seemed to sulk from every corner. They thought they had a right to remain unbeaten. It was down hill for Wenger after that really. A top coach wouldn't have allowed the sulk fest to set in and stink the place out.

  3. shu

    Oct 01, 2020, 22:13 #117149

    The best 1998 v Everton and TA6's goal. But he out stayed his welcome by 8 years and it really tarnished it all . He became a laughing stock with the opposing fans singing we want you to stay . Should have walked after the 8-2 defeat by Man Utd

  4. Seven Kings Gooner 1

    Oct 01, 2020, 20:34 #117148

    Best moment for me was the 1 - 0 at OT in 2002 to win the league, that made up for the 98 - 99 season. I also thought the 2005 cup final win was very enjoyable, seeing Keane and Fergie standing together trying to work out what went wrong appealed to my anti United sentiments. Wenger apparently hated that game and vowed he would never played that way again - that final was the birth of "tippy tappy" The worst memory was the 2000 EUFA final - a disgraceful performance, not because they were poor but because of the arrogance of the team thinking all they had to do was to turn up.

  5. Kroenkephobe

    Oct 01, 2020, 18:13 #117147

    I agree entirely Ron about the 8-2 thing. At the risk of sounding like I'm clutching my pearls, it still plagues me to this day. The pain would have been assuaged if we'd latterly racked up a monster score against them but it never happened. A watershed moment when it became plain just how diminished we'd become. It had a ridiculously profound effect. I was embarrassed, ashamed and annoyed, and it took me back to our losing to Leeds in 72 as a blubbering 8 year old (although there was no shame in that narrow defeat against a top Leeds team but it was one of the few times I'd shed a tear over football). The thing against Luton in 87 was different - I put that down to the copious lagers and the onions on the wembley hot dogs... I remember his dopey post match interview at OT blaming everyone except himself naturlich. Many humiliations followed and we morphed into a team who got ridden by all out major competitors and Bolton! He can crap on about Arsenal being in his DNA or whichever other football cliche applies but he became a enemy within for me. I'm not going to buy his autobiography til it costs less than 50p on ebay!

  6. itsRonagain2

    Oct 01, 2020, 17:20 #117146

    Kroenke - i think much of what you say is correct and its right that Wenger shared in the profits of the bullshite zone that Arsenal became after 05 and the move to that damned awful stadium. He changed his clothes and sold his soul and his football beliefs really didnt he and then convinced himself that there really could be a Barca lite bought for peanuts! He became delusional as those with unfettered control in life always do. He did count the £££s post Kroenke of course, but my view is that much of what he did after 05 was shaped largely by the chosen direction of the club after 05 and certainly after 07 when SK landed. I would have liked him to have gone after the 8-2 in 2011 but by then he was on too much of a good thing wasn't he. He sullied himself by hanging on after that. His adopted principles became those that SK and Gazadis laid down for him to suck up. That's was his biggest 'crime' for me.

  7. Kroenkephobe

    Oct 01, 2020, 16:50 #117145

    To paraphrase Shakespeare (not the former Leicester manager, the other one) I come to bury Wenger not to praise him. From 2005 to whenever it was that he was finally pushed off the HMS Arsenal gangplank, I was one of numerous voices on these august pages urging his removal. Initially we'd have tolerated a move 'upstairs', but as the defeats, pigheadness and illogical decisions continued to get worse, the call quickly changed to become one requiring a P45. The eye watering sums of fans' money that he trousered in the midst of all the corruption and shitshowering beggared belief. So a (Simon) rose-tinted hagiography from yours truly ain't gonna happen. My personal bullshit detector could not stand it. We know and love all the things he and more crucially the players achieved pre 05 but he well and truly fooked his legacy and there can be no revisionism. That aside, I worked in Ireland in the early 2000s with a Spurs fan who thought it a wheeze to buy me a t shirt quoting "comical" AW saying he thought AFC could go through the season unbeaten. They were fashionably de rigeur for cockerel jockies at the time. He gave it to me weeks after an earlier winning run had ended and thought it was hilarious. I moved to Washington DC soon afterwards but had no problem remembering to send him a smiley photo just after invincibility did happen. A wonderful moment. I never heard from him again.

  8. Bardo

    Oct 01, 2020, 16:29 #117144

    Good shout Layth. His career at Arsenal was a tale of two halves really. He was super successful in the first decade. a real innovator but really we only had Untd for competition and in truth we should have done better in terms of titles and trophies. He lost it in the second decade despite the cup wins. He should have moved on to another club. For me the Invincibles were terrific. So many great games and players.

  9. itsRonagain2

    Oct 01, 2020, 15:25 #117143

    I thought that 2-2 at WHL was partly disappointing to be honest. i went too. We should have romped home in that game after the earth we had and rubbed their noses in it. A draw was a bit anti climactic for me. The 0-1 in 1971 surpassed that day for me personally by some distance for many reasons. Arsene gave us many great years and moments. His time is recalled fondly by me in the main. His decline was sad to see, but it wasn't all of his doing by any means. The shower that own the club are as much to blame as Arsenes ideals ever were. The worst one match for me was the 5-1 collapse at Anfield in 2014. It was the manner of the defeat that was the telling moment for me that Arsene had 'gone'. So many great games though and they all outweigh the bad times by a distance. He was a genuinely top coach, flawed of course the same as all of us.

  10. Kazza

    Oct 01, 2020, 14:50 #117142

    Man City: How about 60 mill for Alexis ? AW: No Man Utd: How about Mkhitaryan for Alexis ? AW: Sure Özil: I'll re-sign for 350k a week. AW: Sure Fast -forward to 2020...Özil not even on the bench now and Mkhitaryan goes for a free. Arsene knows...

  11. Nos89

    Oct 01, 2020, 13:40 #117141

    Favourite memory of wenger holding up a comical wenger T-shirt given to him from someone in the North Bank on the Invincible victory lap. Iconic moment - being sent to the stands by Mike Dean at Old Trafford and ends up standing in front of the united supporters with his arms out asking "where do I go?". They should place a statue in that spot of wenger. Worst moment - Champions League final 2006. He got it wrong with substitutions that lost us the final. Taking pires off instead of Helb, and not bringing on Bergkamp to hold onto the ball for last 20 minutes. Still hurts.